Blues’ London 1 Status for 2017/18 Confirmed Despite Defeat
CS Rugby beat Chiswick leaving Brighton 8 points ahead of Chiswick with only 1 game remaining which secures Brighton’s place in London 1 for next season.
It was a beautiful but tense day at Sevenoaks with Brighton’s destiny in their own hands; a win would secure safety however as Chiswick loss would also confirm their relegation. Brighton were under the cosh early on from Oaks when the ball was kicked though and entered the ridiculously slopped dead ball line and refused to go dead. Debutant winger Aled Edwards managed to clear The Blues lines but it was not long until the home side managed to cross over for the first try of the game. The conversion went wide leaving the score at 5-0. Brighton had spells of possession however the final pass let the visitors down along with pressure from the Sevenoaks defence. It was 31 minutes before Brighton registered their first score after passing up a handful chances to kick for post. Ben Herbe was quick off the mark from another penalty and fell over the line for a trade mark 2 metre try. Lewis Evans added the conversion which was partially charged down but still made it over which put The Blues ahead 5-7.
News from Chiswick was that they were ahead 14-0 going into the break. With The Blues ahead by 2 points at half time. It was tight but Chiswick were on course for a 4 try win and The Blues were ahead narrowly after the first 40 minutes.
The second half did not play out like the first in either game. Sevenoaks were on the scoreboard within 5 minutes putting them back in the lead 12-7. Rob Fogerty’s relentless carries in the 12 channel were putting The Blues on the front foot and gaining territory. Brighton’s dominance in the scrum paid off when they were awarded a penalty try in the 53rd minute. Lewis Evans again used the hands of the charging Oaks line to guide the conversion over putting Brighton back in the lead 12-14 53 minutes played. Brighton were their own worst enemy at times when missed tackles allowed Oaks to get in behind and make easy yards. To the home sides credit their execution in lose play was excellent as their backs were able touch down a couple of tries without reply, 31-14 in the 69th minute. With Brighton up against it, CS Rugby were managing to help out, having turned a 14-0 deficit around to 14-22 lead.
Brighton again had spells of possession. Hooker Sam Callaghan broke the line on a few occasions showing footwork of Jason Robinson to beat defenders. From the field position gain by Callaghan Skipper Joel Forward carried hard and bulldozed over the try to touch down for his 7th try of the season making him equal top try scorer. Joel Forward, Rob Fog and Zak Downey have all crossed the white wash 7 times this season so the trophy is up for grabs with only 1 game remaining Tottoninans at Waterhall on the 23rd.
News filtered through to the supporters that CS Rugby has increased their lead to 14-32 with only 5 minutes remaining. Brighton were unable to add to their sore and in the closing stages, Sevenoaks again broke the line and scored under the posts. The final conversion concluded the scoring at 38-19. The Blues sat in the shade in the corner of the pitch waiting for confirmation from the CS v Chiswick result. It was a tired performance from The Blues probably due to the effort that has been put in over the past 2 months. Brighton were unable to secure London 1 status in the fashion that they wanted to, never the less the hard work has paid off and Brighton will be competing London 1 South for the 2017/18 season. Huge congratulations to the team who have managed to turn around the season after Christmas and do enough to get out of the bottom 3.
There is a well-earned break next weekend before Brighton welcome Tottonains to Waterhall on 23rd April. Brighton will look to close out the season with a good performance in front of the home fans.
Supporters Man of the Match
Rob Fogerty 3 points
Sam Callaghan 2 points
Ben Herbe 1 point
Match photos taken by Dave Beech and Martin Finch